Skills development, much like software development, is an iterative and incremental process.
Just because a person is sub-par doesn’t mean he can’t improve. Same goes to you and your skills.
(..and just because an event sucks the first time, doesn’t mean it will not be better the next time.)
I have learned this over and over again in meeting people in the local tech and business community.
They may be super herp derp the first time you meet them but give them some time to bloom and you will see how valuable they will turn out to be.
Your pity should go to those who give up on relationships the first time just because they don’t find value in the person at all. Joke’s on them.
Give to get.
Pretty soon enough, there is something you can get from the investment of attention you gave.